May 16, 2006
HUNTSVILLE, Texas - The 11th-ranked University of Houston baseball team erupted for seven runs in the first two innings and never looked back in taking a 10-4 win over area-rival Sam Houston State on Tuesday night at the new Bearkat Baseball Stadium.
The Cougars exploded for four runs in the first inning and added three more runs in the second inning for a comfortable seven-run lead they would never relinquish. UH pounded out 10 hits with three of those going for extra bases and took advantage of seven SHSU errors to win both games in the regular-season series against the Bearkats.
UH starter Matt Farrington improved to 5-4 and collected his third straight win after holding the Bearkats to three runs off seven hits with four strikeouts in six innings. Sophomore reliever Sean McLemore earned his first career save after allowing only one run off two hits with two strikeouts over the final three innings.
Junior outfielder Jake Stewart went 3-for-5 with a double and two runs, while senior infielder Isa Garcia finished the night 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. Junior infielder Dustin Kingsbury led all players with three RBIs and added a pair of runs, while sophomore outfielder Bryan Tully batted 2-for-4 with a double and RBI.
SHSU starter Jesse Marshall collected the loss and fell to 1-3 after allowing six runs (four earned) off five hits with a strikeout in only one inning of work.
Outfielder Dustin Martin went 3-for-5 with a run, and DH Mark Gilbert batted 2-for-4 with a run, RBI and two doubles to lead the Bearkats.
With the win, the Cougars finished the regular season with a 36-19 overall record. Sam Houston State dropped to 23-28.
The Cougars will now take the weekend off before returning to action at the 2006 C-USA Tournament at Rice's Reckling Park on Wednesday, May 24. UH enters the tournament as the No. 2 seed and will square off against the No. 7 seed at 12:30 p.m., May 24. The Cougars' first-round opponent will be determined later this weekend with the end of the regular season.
All Cougar postseason games can be heard live over the Internet at www.UHCougars.com with former UH letterwinners Nick Torina and Pat Cauley calling all the action. Fans also can follow play-by-play action by clicking on the "Live Stats" link on the schedule at www.UHCougars.com.
The Cougars struck for the game's first runs in the first inning. Stewart led off with a single through the right side, and Garcia followed with a walk. After Matt Weston was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Kingsbury cleared the bases with a double to the wall in right center. Kingsbury moved to second base following a balk and scored when Josh Stirneman slapped an RBI-single up the middle past a drawn-in SHSU infield.
One inning later, the Cougars took advantage of three hits and three more SHSU errors to score three runs and take a 7-0 lead. Garcia ripped an RBI-single into center field to plate Travis Cougot and a pair of Bearkat miscues allowed both Stewart and Garcia to score.
SHSU put its first mark in the scoreboard in the third inning when Stephen Spaugh ripped a two-run homer to left field.
In the fifth inning, the Cougars pushed its lead to 9-2. Lincoln and Stirneman led off with back-to-back walks and moved up a base following Tully's sacrifice bunt.
SHSU pulled to within 9-3 in the sixth inning when Gilbert's second double of the night plated Josh Warren who led off with a single up the middle.
The Bearkats put the score at 9-4 in the seventh inning on Gregory O'Neil's RBI-single to left field.
In the ninth inning, Kingsbury led off with a walk and moved to second two batters later when Stirneman drew a walk of his own. Tully then laced a double to left center to plate Kingsbury for a 10-4 Cougar lead.